Green streets: Industry City leaders want to install more massive planters to curb illegal truck parking

Green streets: Industry City leaders want to install more massive planters to curb illegal truck parking
Photo by Colin Mixson

They’re trying to stem illegal parking!

Sunset Park civic gurus blessed Industry City honchos’ scheme to install more giant planters outside the sprawling commercial hub, in an effort to stop big rigs from illegally parking on streets surrounding it.

Bigwigs at the campus placed similar dumpster gardens along its Second Avenue border between 32nd and 36th streets in 2017, and the number of tractor trailers hogging that curb space subsequently declined, proving the structures’ effectiveness, according to the head of Community Board 7’s Transportation Committee.

“They did it on Second Avenue and it worked,” Zak Jasie said at his committee’s Monday meeting.

Now, Industry City bigwigs want to place more of the 11-foot dumpsters filled with trees — the first batch of which were originally built to soak up storm water, and debuted along the Gowanus Canal before landing in Sunset Park — outside the complex’s Building 19 on 39th Street between First and Second avenues.

The planters would be spaced roughly 20 feet apart, creating gaps with plenty of space for passenger vehicles to park and box trucks to unload, but not enough for truckers to stow their 50-foot big rigs at the curb, according to Industry City Chief Executive Officer Andrew Kimball, who said the drivers who park there now generally come from out of state and do not have any business in the area.

“We’ve been watching for years and years,” Kimball told the committee. “They are not doing business in Industry City, they’re not doing business in the area.”

Building 19 is home to the Brooklyn Nets’s massive twin-court training facility, and the ballers worry the illegally parked big rigs could prevent emergency personnel from quickly entering in the event of a fire or other unexpected incident, according to a rep.

“We have concerns if there was some sort of emergency, and first responders had to respond to a fire or something like that,” Jordan Ballard said at the meeting.

Industrial plant: Industry City honchos want to use garden planters like this to prevent illegal parking on 39th Street.
Photo by Colin Mixson

But the building isn’t just where the Nets practice — it houses multiple businesses, including Gumption Coffee and eye-glasses manufacturer M Factory, which together employ hundreds of people, Kimball said.

And the tractor-trailers don’t just hog street parking outside of Building 19 — they also stymie commerce by shielding the commercial spaces from suppliers and customers, according to the owner of Gumption Coffee, which operates a cafe in the building and roasts its beans on-site.

“Our suppliers can’t find us, they’re passing by the street because we’re blocked by trucks,” said Hazel de los Reyes. “And it’s not good for business if you’re relying on street traffic.”

CB7’s Transportation Committee unanimously approved the installation of more of the planters, but one member worried that bringing them to 39th Street would result in more trucks illegally parked elsewhere in the neighborhood, where tractor-trailers already hog street parking beneath the Gowanus Expressway and along Second Avenue all the way down to the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

The committee chairman acknowledged the larger truck-parking issue across Sunset Park, blaming it on a lack of enforcement.

“We have a problem district wide with trucks parking under the Gowanus, trucks parking all the way down Second Avenue to 53rd Street, and it’s seldom enforced,” Jasie said.

The local 72nd Precinct did not send a representative to the committee meeting, but a Police Department spokeswoman claimed its officers liaise with business owners in the area as part of their ongoing enforcement efforts.

“Officers have reached out to various business that use the area for parking and informed them that enforcement will be conducted. Enforcement has been ongoing,” said Sgt. Jessica McRorie. “Additionally, the precinct has been in contact with the [Department of Transportation] in order to improve the signage in the area.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Out of state: Industry City reps claimed most of the illegal trucks parked around the manufacturing complex bear out-of-state plates.
Photo by Colin Mixson